April 23, 2012 LETTER — LIRS Calls on Congress to Preserve the Child Tax Credit

Press Contact: Jon Pattee, LIRS Assistant Director for Media Relations
202-591-5778, jpattee@lirs.org

April 23, 2012

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), the national organization established by Lutheran churches in the United States to serve uprooted people, I am writing in opposition to the Refundable Child Tax Credit Eligibility Verification Reform Act (H.R. 1956), legislation passed last week by the House Committee on Ways and Means. The bill would restrict access to the refundable Child Tax Credit (CTC) to parents of U.S. citizen children who pay their taxes with the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

The CTC reduces child poverty in the United States by providing a tax credit to low-income, working families, alleviating the high cost of raising a child. In 2010 the CTC lifted 1.3 million children out of poverty. If H.R. 1956 were enacted into law, the typical ITIN taxpayer earning $21,240 per year would face a tax increase of $1,800 as a result of being denied access to this important tax credit. Losing this income will compromise the ability of families to put food on the table or pay for rent.

Earlier this year LIRS and 28 Lutheran bishops, district presidents, and social ministry organization executives urged Congress to reject efforts to include this measure in the payroll tax compromise. LIRS applauded when Congress cleared the final payroll tax deal without restricting access to the CTC. I am deeply troubled that the House of Representatives is considering this proposal again.

As people of faith, we are called to welcome the newcomer and care for the vulnerable. Through LIRS’s work with migrant children, churches, and communities, I have seen countless examples of the benefits of investing time and resources in youth. We must ensure all children have adequate food, resources, and support to prepare them to become our next generation of leaders.

As you consider the House budget resolution, please honor our history as a nation shaped by immigrants and their children and reject any proposal that would deny immigrant parents of U.S. citizen children access to the CTC. We must not forget our responsibility to protect and empower our nation’s most vulnerable children.

Please contact Eric B. Sigmon, LIRS Director for Advocacy, at (202) 626-7943 or via email at esigmon@lirs.org with any questions.

Yours in faith,

Linda Hartke
President and CEO Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service